Was talking with my highly-creative writing, daughter the other day, about the complexities of story development and the attention span of the current reading population. Those in particular who are connected to each other through TikTok. None of the old ‘Facebook’ for them. So old fashioned, how did anybody ever spend the time to read all that stuff?
We also discussed what is really a post-covid-lockdown phenomenon. People now live in a ‘bubble’, of their own making. Physically, emotionally, community—just about every aspect of our lives. Each bubble has its own moveable boundaries. Do I want to go shopping. I’ll have to wear a mask, do I want to wear a mask. I’ll have to log-in, do I want to log-in. Each answer depends on where the bubble edges exist on any given day. Will I read, or do I want to chill out. etc, etc.
The conversation got a bit hairy from there, but I suspect at some levels we all are making adjustments regularly to ‘our’ bubble.
I rambled a bit last week about the Zone System, and regrettably mistakenly mis-named Fred Archer as one of the designers of the system.
I also spoke of contrasts as a tool to establish relationships. (Which is where my conversation with said daughter comes into this).
Contrast is not just about the value of tones in the photo, but also the elements.
Following on, Relationships between those elements in our photos help to give clues to the viewer about the story within the frame.
An object larger than another, the space between or around then or a change of viewpoint, or camera angle, or even lens can change the connectedness or the implied connectedness.It places the main character of the photo into its setting. It can even imply things that are not seen in the frame.
Sometimes reducing the photo to humble monochrome brings out a relationship between tone, shapes and texture.
The young Collared Sparrowhawk was playing chasing games with its siblings. To mine, and its surprise it landed on a log quite close, but behind a small clump of boxthorn. It stood its ground long enough to realise the boxthorn was not enough of a comfort barrier and a moment later it was gone.
I looked at it in colour and it lacked the seperation I wanted, but the connectedness between the bird and the bush was an important element of the story, so over to Silver Efex Pro it went.
SFX has a very clever ‘Zone System’ visualiser and I turned to it to help me to see how the shadows and the highlights support the story, but not overpower it.
The SFX visualiser does not make changes, it simply shows what happens as the tones are moved up or down.
Photography is like that, as with creative writing, sometimes its the experiments that allow the photographer to become a bit more conscious of how to make the story more intentional, and perhaps compelling.